When Christians struggle with sin in their lives, one thought often pops up in their minds. “I have to do better.”
It is of course good to want to be victorious over sin.
But that way of thinking can also be dangerous. It often leads to pride if you are “victorious.” Or it leads to discouragement when you’re not.
And so Jesus’ words are very important here. He says,
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. (3)
If you believe Jesus is God’s Son, that he paid for your sins on the cross, and that his words are life, you are already clean in God’s sight. (John 7:68-69)
We don’t need to strive to change ourselves to make ourselves acceptable to him. We are already clean in his sight.
So what do we need to do then?
Simply remain in Jesus.
Walk with him, each day. Learn to listen to his voice. Through his Word. Through your times of prayer. And as he speaks, with your hand in his, take one more step forward.
Jesus doesn’t expect you to become perfect in one day. All he wants you to do is to take one more step forward. And as you do, you will bear fruit. You will change.
There’s no striving to change yourself. No beating yourself up when you fall. No pride in thinking that you are somehow changing yourself into a better person. Only walking, one step at a time, rooting yourself deeper into Jesus and his love.
So let’s meditate on Jesus’ words this week.
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. (3-5)